The new Facebook algorithm: Click-baiting

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Twitter: @MadreRoothman

 

The goal of every page admin-slash-community manager is to get their content seen by their community – A.K.A. have it at the top of users’ news feeds. We spend hours strategising and implementing “best practices” (non-existing) just to receive another Facebook algorithm update. [Insert swear word here.] But it’s not all bad. If you’re in the know, your content will come out on top. Here’s how.

Click-baiting headlines is a no-no

To improve the quality of content being displayed in the Facebook News Feed, Facebook has now reduced the number of articles posted with click-baits. Click-baiting is much like when you get set up for a blind date. By your mom. She’ll hype you up only for you to later realise that person X isn’t as good looking or as interesting as she’d promised. In Facebook terms, any status update that goes something like “You’ll never believe what we have to offer. CLICK for more! —-> http://bit.ly/something” is never a good thing.

Facebook research has shown that 80% of users preferred content that gives them more insight into an article before they click through.

Facebook status update with click-baiting headline

Facebook status update with click-baiting headline

How does Facebook determine click-baiting?

By monitoring article bounce rates. If users click on an article and spend time reading it, Facebook marks that content as something valuable. If users click through to a link but come straight back to Facebook, Facebook marks that content as invaluable. In future, Facebook states that they will also take engagement factors into consideration such as likes, comments and shares.

Example of an article that could have a high bounce rate.

Example of an article that could have a high bounce rate.

Link sharing in Facebook posts

Link sharing can be displayed in one of two ways:

  1. A large picture, a headline and some text
  2. Links shares in status updates

The first is a no-no. The second is a yes-yes. Facebook research has shown that users prefer to click on links that are highlighted in the link format (ones highlighted in blue in status updates), rather than links that are tucked away in photo captions. Links shared in status updates also makes for easy mobile navigation compared to links embedded in photo captions. So definitely go for option 2.

Image to the left shows a large picture, a headline and some text. Image to the right shows a link share in a status update.

Image to the left shows a large picture, a headline and some text. Image to the right shows a link share in a status update.

Ensure your Facebook content comes out on top

How? By implementing a no click-baiting strategy and sharing links in status updates rather than in picture formats.

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